TORONTO – The Toronto Rock found a way to win an overtime game.
Reid Reinholdt took a feed from Kasey Beirnes in front of Georgia Swarm goaltender Mike Poulin and scored at 1:16 of the extra frame to give the Rock (7-5) a much-needed 12-11 win over the Swarm in Duluth, Ga., on Friday. The win pulls them within one game of the Swarm (8-4) for top spot in the NLL East with a chance to cut the lead even closer as it is back in action tonight at the Air Canada Centre against the Vancouver Stealth (7 p.m.).
Reinholdt, one of the rookies on the Toronto roster, tied the game with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, again finding space in front of the Georgia net. That goal capped a night where the Swarm controlled much of the game and enjoyed some excellent goaltending by Poulin but too many times allowed the visitors to hang in.
Brett Hickey continued to lead the Rock with five goals in the contest, scoring at critical times when it looked like Georgia would start pulling away.
Playing before another sparse crowd at the Infinite Energy Centre as the Swarm continue to struggle with attendance, Randy Staats opened the scoring for the hosts and Shayne Jackson added another but Beirnes and Latrell Harris scored to even the game 2-2 after a quarter.
Struggling against Georgia’s quick defence early, Hickey finally found some space early in the second and with a diving shot, beat Poulin. The Swarm got two goals from Myles Thompson, one of three brothers on the team, in that second quarter. The Swarm also got three in a row from Johnny Powless, Staats, and Jordan MacIntosh but Hickey answered for the Rock as did Jordan Magnuson, who took a feed from Brock Sorensen. Sorensen was seeing his first action for Toronto after tearing his ACL in a game late in the 2016 season. Toronto trailed 7-5 after two.
On a five-minute power play early in the third quarter, Tom Schreiber and Hickey both scored to tie the game.
Connor Sellars restored the Swarm lead off transition then Staats added his third of the night and Joel White added another transition marker. Hickey scored his fourth in the dying seconds of the third to reduce Georgia’s lead to 10-8 after three.
Staats and Hickey traded goals early in the fourth to add to their totals. Then Stephan Leblanc scored to keep the Rock hanging around, allowing for Reinholdt’s heroics.